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Bev Smith

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Information about Bev Smith

Profile image of Bev Smith

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Talk Show Host

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Yellow Cake With Chocolate Icing
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Stand Up, Be Counted, Get Involved.

Birthplace

Born:
3/4/1943
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Talk Show Host

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Yellow Cake With Chocolate Icing
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Stand Up, Be Counted, Get Involved.

Birthplace

Born:
3/4/1943
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh
See how Bev Smith is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Radio talk show host Bev Smith was born March 4, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Smith is the eldest of six children born to Isabel and John Sloan. She was raised in the Homewood neighborhood of Pennsylvania, and graduated from Westinghouse High School. In 1961, Smith entered beautician school, to raise money for college, and a year later enrolled in Clark’s Business School. In 1963, she took classes at Robert Morris Junior College.

In 1969, Smith was appointed office manager for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, under Ralph King. In 1971, she was named Pittsburgh’s first African American consumer affairs investigative reporter for WPXI Television. She was then hired as news and public affairs director for Sheridan Broadcasting in 1975, and hosted a talk show on Sheridan's flagship station, WAMO. In 1977, Smith became the director of consumer affairs, as well as energy coordinator of her county in Pennsylvania. That same year, she moved her radio show to KDKA, where she also hosted a television show called Vibrations. Smith then became a radio host for Miami’s WGBS (now WNMS) in 1979, and Orlando’s WKIS in 1985. In 1988, Smith began hosting a local radio program in Washington D.C., as well as the national Black Entertainment Television talk show "Our Voices," which she hosted for over thirteen years.

In 1998, Smith became the host of "The Bev Smith Show," on American Urban Radio Networks, which made her the only African American female radio talk show host with a nationally syndicated show in the country. Smith signed off the air as host of her show in 2011.

Smith has received nearly 300 awards and recognitions for her contributions to radio and television, including the Spirit of Democracy Award, the Radio Air Crystal Award and the prestigious Max Robinson Award. She has also been selected by Talkers magazine as one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America.

Bev Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 9, 2014.

See how Bev Smith is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bev Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bev Smith lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bev Smith describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bev Smith describes her maternal family's home in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bev Smith talks about her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bev Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bev Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bev Smith talks about her father's labor activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bev Smith describes how her parents met, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bev Smith describes how her parents met, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her father's service in the Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bev Smith talks about her mother's education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bev Smith lists her siblings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bev Smith lists her siblings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bev Smith describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bev Smith describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bev Smith remembers moving from the Hill District to Homewood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bev Smith remembers her father's musical tastes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bev Smith remembers the Pittsburgh Courier
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her early interest in art
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bev Smith recalls her early influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bev Smith remembers her parents' emphasis on politics and current events
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bev Smith recalls her favorite television and radio programs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bev Smith talks about the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her schooling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about her family's political affiliations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bev Smith remembers the gentrification of the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bev Smith talks about her parents' strict discipline
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bev Smith recalls her influences at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Bev Smith talks about her speaking voice
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Bev Smith describes her relationship with the Kennedy family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Bev Smith remembers the debate club at Westinghouse High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Bev Smith talks about her aspiration to attend college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bev Smith recalls her responsibilities as the oldest of six siblings
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her experiences of bullying
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bev Smith remembers Duff's Business Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bev Smith remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bev Smith recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bev Smith remembers her ex-husband
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about her work with the National Conference of Christians and Jews
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bev Smith remembers David Chase
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bev Smith recalls her start as a news reporter on WIIC-TV
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bev Smith talks about the reprisals against her investigative reporting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bev Smith remembers Fred Rogers of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bev Smith describes her transition from WIIC-TV to WAMO Radio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her reputation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bev Smith remembers the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers her programs on WAMO Radio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about the problems facing the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bev Smith remembers her time at the Xerox Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes her return to WAMO Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bev Smith remembers her weekend talk show on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bev Smith talks about the struggle of black steelworkers in Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bev Smith remembers working on Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Bev Smith talks about her advocacy at WYCB Radio
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bev Smith remembers moving to Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her experiences as a radio personality in Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bev Smith remembers working for WRC Radio in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bev Smith remembers balancing her radio talk show and her program on BET
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bev Smith talks about the racist origins of marijuana criminalization
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers Mayor Marion Barry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her grassroots organizing efforts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about the changes in the role of black media
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bev Smith reflects upon the downfall of the black media industry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bev Smith reflects upon her time at BET
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her stint as commentator on the American Urban Radio Networks
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bev Smith talks about selecting topics for her radio programs
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her network of contacts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bev Smith describes the origin of her nickname
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers leaving the American Urban Radio Networks
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about independently producing 'The Bev Smith Show'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about the future of black radio
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Bev Smith reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Bev Smith reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Bev Smith talks about her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Bev Smith talks about the threats against her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Bev Smith describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bev Smith talks about her books